Constructing an understanding of mind : the development of children's social understanding within social interaction

Carpendale, Jeremy I. and Lewis, Charlie (2004) Constructing an understanding of mind : the development of children's social understanding within social interaction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27 (1). pp. 79-96. ISSN 0140-525X

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Abstract

Theories of children's developing understanding of mind tend to emphasize either individualistic processes of theory formation, maturation, or introspection, or the process of enculturation. However, such theories must be able to account for the accumulating evidence of the role of social interaction in the development of social understanding. We propose an alternative account, according to which the development of children's social understanding occurs within triadic interaction involving the child's experience of the world as well as communicative interaction with others about their experience and beliefs (Chapman 1991; 1999). It is through such triadic interaction that children gradually construct knowledge of the world as well as knowledge of other people. We contend that the extent and nature of the social interaction children experience will influence the development of children's social understanding. Increased opportunity to engage in cooperative social interaction and exposure to talk about mental states should facilitate the development of social understanding. We review evidence suggesting that children's understanding of mind develops gradually in the context of social interaction. Therefore, we need a theory of development in this area that accords a fundamental role to social interaction, yet does not assume that children simply adopt socially available knowledge but rather that children construct an understanding of mind within social interaction.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Additional Information: Lewis senior author. Both the original paper and response to commentaries were co-authored, word for word as an international collaboration. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/libraryofcongress/bf
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 3598
Deposited By: ep_importer
Deposited On: 10 Mar 2008 14:28
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2019 00:37
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3598

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